Wrong attitudes and bad orientations among the motoring public are some of the major causes of road crashes in Nigeria, said Jonathan Owoade, the Kwara State Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) on Monday.
Speaking with journalists in Ilorin on Monday on the sideline of events commemorating road traffic crash victims’ day, Owoade identified impatience, wrongful overtaking, night driving, use of phones while driving and overspeeding as causes of major accidents on Kwara roads.
The sector commander said that an average of 72 road crashes was recorded in the last two months of September and October with a loss of about 96 lives on major roads in the state.
Owoade complained that Nigerians fail to comply with traffic laws that discourage carnage and encourage road safety on the country’s roads.
‘Crashes do not happen on their own. They’re caused by our wrong attitude and wrong perception among drivers most of the time. People should give right of way, even when another driver has taken the wrong way. Two wrongs don’t make a right. Most people who claim right are in graveyards,’ he stated.
‘However, the enforcement of right attitude is made difficult by some offenders who say I have a super brother. I’m connected. That attitude informed the wrong attitude to traffic rules among some drivers in the country. If people are made to face the wrath of the law, the incidents would be reduced. Like when you arrest some offenders, you will then be receiving calls from high places and prominent personalities seeking assistance. That’s not encouraging.’
To commemorate the day, the sector commander encouraged motorists ‘to reduce speed to 30 kilometres per hour in built-up areas… to avoid knockdown and ensure proper traffic management. We have had occasions where people knock down school children, cyclists etc. It’s easier and safer to manoeuvre vehicles to a stop when at low speed.
‘We should plan our journey ahead of time and not be in a hurry, because one may not expect what could confront one on the journey. Those who are in a hurry either land in hospital and become vegetables thereafter or no more. We should take life easy. Easy does it.’
The sector commander also advised commercial vehicle drivers to ensure lane discipline by staying on service lanes, saying that driving on the road haphazardly leads to road accidents as oncoming vehicles may not be able to apply their brakes to avoid a collision.
He also advised the motoring public to discourage driving against one-way roads, calling on the state government to block the opening in front of the NNPC filling station along Asa Dam Road, Ilorin, where he said drivers are in the habit of driving against one-ways.
Owoade said that the weeklong celebration would be marked by the presentation of gifts to victims of crashes, and interdenominational church and mosque prayer services, among other events.